Drivesmart: Saftey and speeding in residential areas

This is a story from Chestnut Street in Parksville, but could just as easily take place on any residential street in British Columbia.

This is a story from Chestnut Street in Parksville, but could just as easily take place on any residential street in British Columbia.

It appears that both the residents there and the city council are upset about the speeds of the drivers who use that street. What no one seemed to agree on was what to do about it beyond asking police to do enforcement and perhaps posting the speed limit at 40 km/h.

While the debate was centred on traffic calming measures, it apparently turned into a venting of frustration concerning a perceived lack of enforcement by the local RCMP detachment. Comments from councillors ranged from, “Why are we not generating [speeding-ticket] revenue from all these lead-footed drivers?” to, “My experience has been it’s a lack of [RCMP] resources.”

I found an interesting quote in the introduction to an ITE publication on Speed Control in Residential Areas: Speeds considered excessive by residents are considered reasonable by these same persons when they are driving in another neighbourhood. Every traffic engineer has been shaken by these same residents who announce, “if something is not done about the traffic problem on my street, someone is going to be killed and it will be your fault.”

The ITE document is a short guide on how to go about solving the problem that involves all stakeholders, including the missing element in this story, the residents themselves. They cannot expect to make their concerns known and then wash their hands of the problem.

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement. To comment or learn more, please visit DriveSmartBC.ca